Brooklyn and red wine now served as our buffers. Brooklyn had no idea that daddy had cheated on mommy and that our family was irrevocably broken. Or that daddy was going away and she was gonna stay with mommy in this concrete jungle. She had no idea she was destined to a life doing her business on sidewalks, making new friends at a new dog park and learning to embrace long, cold, snowy winters bundled in a coat and rubber boots. Brooklyn lived in the present moment and was indulging in the attention of both parents.
The red wine numbed my anger and hurt; enabling me to engage in a surprisingly calm, objective and mature discussion about my EX’s drunken one night stand and how he could simultaneously claim to “love” me yet subject me to lies, humiliation and (let’s not forget) possible STDs! On second thought, maybe the wine numbed my better judgement and I should’ve torn him a new asshole. He apologized tenderly and profusely, claiming to have never wanted to hurt me. He was ashamed and knew his actions were wrong but attributed them to his state of happiness at the time. According to him, that one night stand served as a catalyst into introspection; trying to figure out how and why he would allow himself to become exactly the man he never wanted to be. His conclusion was that I had stopped looking at him the way I used to; that my passion for him seemed to have faded. He missed the rush of emotions that used to exist between us; the exhilaration of new love.
So, this was all my fault? I didn’t love him enough? Was it because I didn’t maintain the puppy-love, girlish grin that was once induced by a mere glance into his hazel eyes framed with those extra long-lashes that even Revlon couldn’t battle? Is it because I no longer coerced him to pull the car over into random Los Angeles neighborhoods to straddle him in the driver’s seat due to a burst of uncontrollable passion? Is it because I no longer lured him into public restrooms for an unexpected blow job... just because I had the urge? You have GOT to be kidding me!
Did he not take into account how much HE had changed? Did he not realize what it was like to watch him morph from Mr. Positive, up-beat, lover of life and into Mr. Depressed, video game-addicted, alcoholic? Shit changes. Circumstances change. And ours certainly had. The economic slump and the SAG writer’s strike affected work and finances. He was collecting unemployment and occasional residual checks. I was working extra-hard trying to pick up the slack; running our home-based t-shirt company, teaching Pilates, and doing massage therapy. His male ego was deflated and that whole philosophy about “when the going gets tough, the tough get tougher” obviously didn’t apply to him. I, on the other hand, went into my usual “survival mode”, working relentlessly and trying to maintain my optimism. But, I was exhausted. Mentally, physically and emotionally drained. And, if that’s not a recipe for lust, I don’t know what is. So, did I look at him differently? Hells, yeah! After clocking in 40+ hours/week, was I turned on watching him swill Coronas and shout expletives while playing shoot-em up with the boys on Halo 3? Did his thumb dexterity and creative use of the English language make me wanna jump his bones? Pa-lease! If I had, he probably would’ve been pissed at me for jacking up his game.
As for me, I thought marriage was “for better or for worse; for richer or for poorer”. My bad. We wanted to be creative, unique and different so we wrote our own vows and didn’t include those little details. Nor did we include the part about “until death do us part”. So, my whole idea of marriage must’ve been skewed. I thought that beyond the passion, lust and sex, marriage was about partnership; finding strength in one another through the peaks and valleys of life. But evidently his version of marriage was about maintaining that brand-spankin’ new feeling of love in its la-la land stages. (And I always considered myself the dreamer and him the realist.) Since stress and life’s realities robbed the freshness of our love, he had to go get some of that new-feeling shit from someone else. Basically, he needed someone who wasn’t privy to all his baggage to stroke his ego and make him feel like he was the man!